Zumba Fitness has become the newest and most effective exercise training outlet to provide weight loss and body fitness in Michigan. Zumba Fitness started gaining popularity in Michigan in 2008 when Zumba DVD infomercials started popping up everywhere on late night cable television shows. Slowly, Zumba classes became available in local community centers and schools. Unless you bought the DVDs, saw an advertisement offering Zumba classes, or saw the infomercial, however, you probably still are not familiar with Zumba Fitness. If that is the case, here are some pros and cons of Zumba Fitness.
Zumba is an aerobic exercise, which means it can be effective in a weight-loss program and can give you a great cardio workout. It all depends, however, on how motivated you are and who you have as an instructor. If you are motivated, taking a Zumba class could rev up your metabolism and you could burn between 350 to 600 calories or more in a one hour class. Zumba consists mostly of Latin dance moves, including salsa, merengue, cha-cha, and mambo. Those moves are then choreographed into different variations while adding fitness moves to the routine, creating a great cardio workout.
Let’s face it, if at all possible, you want to have fun while you work out. Zumba Fitness is successful because participants enjoy themselves. The Latin music and steps present a dramatic change from traditional aerobics classes and routines. Almost anyone can grasp the steps and keep up.
It is always a good idea to try different Zumba classes with different instructors. Zumba has a theme of 70/30, 70% dance and 30% fitness; however, most Zumba Instructors do not follow this exact ratio. If you prefer more aerobics than dance, or if you want more dance than aerobics, there are instructors out there that teach Zumba to meet your individual needs. Most Zumba instructors will allow you to attend one of their classes for free, so take advantage of that to determine which type of class you prefer. Remember, it all depends on you though. In order to get a great workout, no matter what class it is, you have to motivate and push yourself.
The Zumba Program is currently being taught at over 50,000 locations in 75 countries and millions of DVDs have been sold. Six million participants take Zumba classes every week worldwide! Zumba Fitness is keeping many people fit and happy.
Just to add a word of caution to prospective students, there are many new types of Zumba classes popping up everywhere… Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning. Any program can be great just because it keeps the body moving no matter what type of class it is, however newcomers should also make certain that they select an experienced instructor who will be ever-watchful of their training and safety.
Zumba does have a members-only area where a Zumba instructor can join, (ZIN: Zumba Instructors Network). For $30.00 per month, members are entitled to one DVD and one CD every other month for new choreography ideas. Members are also given a discount for their clothing, workshops, and can attend the annual Zumba Convention.
It is up to the Zumba instructor to plan their classes and learn new routines, and these bi-monthly DVDs come in handy for those that do not have a choreography background. The message board for the members is very helpful for the new instructors too. However, none of this matters if the Zumba instructor does not have experience in group fitness instructing.
Now that you have become familiar with Zumba and how much fun it is, let’s look behind the scene of this new craze, through the experienced eyes of a 30-year fitness industry vet.
First, when selecting a Zumba class to join, novice students should understand that Zumba instructors are NOT certified in Zumba Fitness. Attendees of one-day workshop are then entitled to use the Zumba name legally. Zumba instructors are authorized to use the Zumba name and therefore become known as an “Authorized Zumba Instructor.” Unfortunately, anyone can attend an 8-hour Zumba workshop without having a group fitness background and can teach the following day. These Zumba instructors are not fitness instructors. One should truly have a fitness background and a national certification before teaching Zumba.
It is clear that Zumba Fitness is an aerobic fitness class, hence the name “Zumba Fitness.” If you have ever attended a fitness class, you know that there are many aspects of which a good fitness instructor should be aware, e.g., form, safety, and motivating the students. The music, routine, and interaction are all very important for the instructor to give to the students.
Most Zumba instructors without a fitness background face away from their students. No matter if there are mirrors in the classroom, fitness instructors should never face away from their students, unless they are showing a difficult move, and then they should immediately face the students again. These instructors are giving their students the illusion that facing their buttocks/backs to them is common in a fitness class, especially if they never attended a fitness class.
This is untrue. I would never want to attend a class with my instructor’s rear-end facing me the entire duration of the class. This is impersonal and it is a big no-no in the fitness industry! It also bothers me that most of the time when the instructor is facing away from their students and there are mirrors in the classroom, the instructor is too busy looking at herself/himself and not keeping an eye on the students!
How is the instructor able to gauge the intensity of the class? Are any of the students in distress? Are they following and, if not, should there be changes in the steps? Are their concerns with the safety of the students?
Those that are paying to use the name and teach Zumba Fitness, pay a large amount of money for that right and promote our classes just to see many “fake” Zumba classes out there. A lot of these instructors that bypass the workshop(s) and use the Zumba name or change their class name to sound like the Zumba name are bogus and non-professional, (e.g., Zoomba, Zoombapilates, etc).
A number of fitness centers, gyms, or businesses offering Zumba classes are unaware of this because the program is so new to Michigan. Zumba Fitness LLC takes pride in their name and takes action against those that use the name without permission. It is up to the facility to recognize this and check to make sure the Zumba instructor is legitimate. To check instructors you can go to www.zumbaofmichigan. com to see if the instructor is listed there. Those that are on this site are legally free to use the Zumba name. You can also check at the official Zumba site, www.zumba.com by entering the instructor’s name.
In my personal opinion, I feel that anyone interested in offering any type of Zumba Fitness classes should have at least a one year of group fitness training or fitness instructing background. They should also be CPR certified and nationally certified in group fitness through ACE (American Council of Exercise, AFAA (Aerobic and Fitness Association of America) or ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), to name a few.
If you plan to attend classes, it is for your own benefit and safety to evaluate the instructor’s and facility’s background in order to learn in a safe environment.
The Zumba Program is a wonderful exercise outlet as well as a great deal of fun! Its creator, Beto Perez, has given the fitness industry an innovative way to perform fitness classes, because the Zumba program is growing extremely fast and has proven that it is not just a fad like many other programs have been proven to be.